Message of the Holy Father to the Catholic pre-conference on AIDS – Durban, South Africa

4 July 2016

The Most Rev. Stephen Brislin
President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Archbishop of Cape Town

The Holy Father was pleased to learn of the forthcoming Conference of the Southern African Bishops on HIV&AIDS, to be held at Glenmore Pastoral Centre, Durban, from 15 to 17 July next, and he sends greetings to all participants at this important event. His Holiness encourages the Bishops of the region, and those assisting them, to continue facing the challenges associated with HIV&AIDS; in particular, he hopes that this Conference will focus on the vulnerable members of society, including single mothers, orphaned children, and indeed on unborn children who are “the most defenseless and innocent among us” (Evangelii Gaudium, 213). Entrusting your deliberations to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Family and Mother of Africa, the Holy Father imparts to all His Apostolic Blessing and prays that the fruits of this Conference will offer a positive contribution to discussions and decisions taken at the 21st International AIDS Conference, due to take place also in Durban from 18 to 22 July following.

+Pietro Cardinal Parolin
Secretary of State